Buyer FAQs: Part One, the Offer

Front DoorThe current real estate market is offering terrific opportunities to buyers. Home prices, and especially the low interest rates, are certainly attractive. If you are considering buying a home, you probably have questions about the purchase process. Let’s take a look at three frequently asked questions regarding the buyer’s offer to the sellers, and how a real estate agent helps the buyer navigate the offer.

How does my offer get presented to the sellers?
Your real estate agent will contact the listing agent for the home you would like to purchase. Preferably, an appointment will be made with the sellers to present them your offer. Your agent will be present during the appointment to explain the details of your offer and negotiate the offer on your behalf. If the seller or listing agent are not available to meet in person, your offer may be transmitted electronically to the listing agent’s office.

What happens if I offer less than the asking price for the home I want to buy?
If you offer less money than the asking price, the sellers have three options: 1)They can accept the lower offer 2)Counter your offer 3) Reject it completely. Remember that there could be another buyer who is also interested in the home you’ve chosen. If they (other buyers) happen to write an offer at the same time you do, the seller will have two offers to compare. There are usually many aspects to each offer to consider, but ultimately the sellers will want to accept the best, and most complete, offer. Working with a real estate agent can help you prepare your best strategy, based on the current real estate market in your region.

What if the I need to sell my home before I buy a new one?
To put yourself in the best negotiating position before you find the new home you want, hire a qualified real estate agent to help you put your current home on the market. Once you write an offer on a new home, your offer will be “contingent” upon the sale of your home.

Your real estate agent will discuss with you a few things to keep in mind with a “contingent” offer. First, a buyer in this position may not have the same negotiating power as a buyer whose home has already sold (or at least has an accepted offer). Second, the seller may be hesitant to accept your offer because there are too many things that must happen before the sale can close. A bridge loan may be an option to consider.